The dead of Chicago winter is a time when, even with temperatures that have been unseasonably warm as of late, outdoor farmers markets are but a somewhat distant, summer memory.
Nevertheless, the city's locavores have not been left out in the cold or forced to adapt to a new, all-fast food, non-organic diet thanks to the bevy of indoor, winter farmers markets held throughout the Chicago area during the cold months.
Below is a roundup and a selection of photographs of area farmers markets helping Chicago foodies keep it fresh and local year-round. Have an area favorite we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Evanston Indoor Farmers Market
In its first year, the near north suburban market is organized by Friends of the Evanston Market and features many of the same vendors that make their summer market such a smash. Vendors sell an array of offerings including gourmet baklava (from Sheekar Delights), gargantuan mushrooms (River Valley Ranch) and even organic soaps and lotions (Green Envee), just to name a few examples.
Saturdays through April 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. (Evanston)
Glenwood Sunday Market
Named the "best pet friendly farmers market" in the city by the Chicago Reader last year, this Rogers Park favorite heads indoors for the winter.
Feb. 12, March 11, April 1, May 6 and May 20, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Glenwood Bar, 6962 N. Glenwood Ave.
Green City Market
The city's largest sustainable farmers' market offers up a weekly indoor market throughout the winter. As Chicagoist recently wrote, while some indoor markets come up short in their breadth of goods available, the Green City Market, even in the winter, is plentiful -- including hot-house produce including lettuce, greens and peppers. The market recently celebrated the return of its winter season with a Super Bowl chili contest, the finalists of which will be judged at the Feb. 4 market.
Saturdays through April 28, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Logan Square Farmers Market
This popular near Northwest Side market takes over the lobby of the Congress Theater during the cold months, allowing area locavores to continue their summer routines of checking out local produce, as well as local music, every weekend. Up for grabs at this market are some delicious-looking "Puffs of Doom," grilled cheeses, walnuts, blueberries and much more. On Feb. 4, local blues and gospel duo Poor Elvis will be treating market-goers with some tunes.
Sundays through March 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.
In addition to the above markets, Faith in Place sponsors a number of indoor markets that traverse the Chicagoland area throughout the winter. Upcoming markets include a Feb. 18 market in Glenview and two markets in Chicago -- one Feb. 19 (St. John's Episcopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner Ave.) and another Feb. 25 Bethany Evangelical Church, 9147 S. Jeffery Blvd.). Elgin and Geneva also host indoor farmers markets during the cold months. More details on these and a smattering of other local foodie events can be found on The Local Beet's blog.
Shallots for sale at the Glenwood Sunday Market.
Joe from Brunkow Cheese in Wisconsin offers delicious cheese and hand crafted herb butters at the Evanston market.
Dennis Clarkson, owner of Crust & Crumb Bread Company, is the principal organizer of Evanston's Winter Farmer and Artisan Food Market. Pictured with his wife Frannie.
Baby micro greens from Urbana on sale at the Glenwood Sunday Market.
A Hot, cheesy panini from Prairie Pure Cheese at a Logan Square Farmers Market this month.
Crack your own black walnuts at the Logan Square Farmers Market.
Spinach for sale from vendor Tomato Mountain at the Evanston Winter Farmer and Artisan Food Market. The winter spinach is grown in hoop houses.
Inside Evanston's Winter Farmer and Artisan Food Market at the Evanston Ecology Center.
Blueberries for the eating, bluegrass for the listening -- "a perfect combo for chasing away the winter gloom" -- at the Logan Square Farmers Market this month.
Squash at the Green City Market. Photo by swanksalot via Flickr.
Organic cauliflower, up for grabs at the Logan Square Farmers Market.
Puffs of Doom, available at the Logan Square Farmers Market.
Inside the Glenwood Sunday Market.
This feed contains the video's "How to Shop at a Farmer's Market" info API